BI man, 93, who died in fire identified

The man who died in a house fire at 13962 Sunrise Drive June 29 has been identified as Charles J. Adolfson.

The Kitsap County medical examiner’s office in a news release July 10 says he died of asphyxiation from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire was determined to be unintentional as it started from food on a stove, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department reported. BIFD fire chief Jared Moravec said, “The house was damaged throughout with the most severe damage in the kitchen and attic space.”

Damage is estimated to the home and contents at $475,000, he added. The 1,656-square-foot three-bedroom home has an estimated value of $815,000. Firefighters arrived shortly after 12:17 p.m. when they discovered heavy smoke and fire. After searching the home responders found Adolfson’s body.

It’s only the fourth fatal fire on BI since 2006. The last one was in April of 2019 when Thomas Jennings, 81, died in a blaze started by a candle, while his wife was able to escape. The one before that was in November of 2011 when 67-year-old Shirley Dillenburg died in a fire. Moravec recalled that the other one was at Winslow Green.

Moravec said while BIFD doesn’t have many fatal fires there are many other “tragedies we have to respond to on a frequent basis.” He said they have two counselors and a critical incident stress management process that help employees deal with such tragic events.

The chief said the department responded in about 6 1/2 minutes and had the fire under control 10 minutes later. He said a new fire hydrant had recently been installed that was a couple hundred feet from the home.

Moravec said it’s his understanding that Adolfson lived alone “and we may never know exactly why” the fire on the stove got out of control.

Units from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and the Poulsbo Fire Department assisted.